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Walmart has a huge global client base… In order to ensure the volume necessary to drive a commitment from this major retailer, a client needs a product that sells quickly in a pilot release (that normally includes about 1,200 stores). If this fails, you won’t get your product on the shelves of its 4,500 locations nationwide. Therefore, the client needs to create as broad an appeal as possible for its products.
The Internet is an environment where companies must learn how to support their own sales channels. As more brands compete for shelf space, they must also compete for consumer attention and brand recognition. The marketing communication challenges for our client involved driving a huge segment of consumers to Walmart and convincing them to buy our client’s products once they were there.
After a comprehensive consultation followed by an in-depth assessment, we suggested a Walmart Launch using Google AdWords, Display Ad Retargeting and Social Media Campaign to support a series of targeted landing pages that would drive people into Walmart stores by offering a promotion redeemable only when they buy.
We also launched a promotional website that included an easy-to-use sign-up call to action. After signing up, website visitors would receive an email that offered a mail-in rebate when they purchased the product at Walmart Stores. This facilitated the attaching of a cookie to their browser for retargeting messages, as well as capturing emails for future direct marketing initiatives. The website used both on-page and off-page SEO with a modern infrastructure that worked well on mobile devices and tablets (where we identified the majority of our clients’ searches would be done). Next, we used Google Search, Display and Youtube Video Ads to drive traffic, and Google Analytics to measure the success. Ads were delivered using a proprietary “micro-geo-targeting” code that we developed to ensure that advertisements were only delivered to consumers within a 20-mile radius of a Walmart store that carried our clients’ products. Overall, these combined strategies spelled success or our client.
Our client also wanted to run TV Ads at the same time, but was not certain if they would perform better that the AdWords Ads. We established a campaign timeline that compared TV alone, TV with AdWords, and AdWords alone, to determine success of each. Although the combined effort produced the most sales, when we stopped the TV campaign and ran only AdWords, we achieved over a 60% increase in traffic at the store. Bottom line: The budget for AdWords was less than 10% of the overall budget, but resulted in an ROI that was 12 times higher than normal.
By shifting their TV budget to AdWords, our client was able to better measure the impact of their ad spend and recognize significant savings while maintaining increased in-store sales. The savings not only gave them better control over profits, but also significantly better insight into what sort of messaging worked, what demographics mattered, and what regions provided higher lift and conversion.
Sometimes traditional advertising is simply not enough to achieve success. After making an initial assessment and delving deeply into their business (as we always do), we suggested incorporating Digital Advertising into his marketing mix by allocating 25% of his budget for Google AdWords. He had been running traditional print ads in trade magazines and tradeshow guides for many years. The results were unlike any he’d previously experienced. By carefully tracking performance with Goal Setting, we were able to determine that the AdWords budget actually accounted for 65% of his overall sales, with the 75% traditional budget for the year representing only 35%. For him, this was eye-opening. But there was much more work to do.
This customer is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of seasonal screen enclosures, greenhouses, Florida rooms and year-round sunrooms, solariums and conservatories. This well-established North American franchise was also perplexed over the lack of control of its own SEO for its own geographical region. Large amounts of money were being spent on marketing, but they had no say whatsoever in how the funds were being allocated. Our client was looking for a targeted solution that fit potential and current clients in his own specific area.
Leveraging our deep knowledge of SEO, we launched a highly competitive, website-driven keyword strategy and supported it with targeted, comprehensive content marketing. From hours of research on this client’s customer base, we carefully segmented and attracted and engaged the specific geographic and demographic traffic that fit the client’s target – in other words, those in his immediate geographic area most likely to buy from him. We believed that this strategy would deliver quality leads to our client, and as a result, boost Return On Investment (ROI).
Our client had a deep understanding of his own geographic market. We applied that knowledge to SEO and selected several tools designed to drive ROI. We launched a series of keyword-driven websites, including fully optimized calls to action (CTAs) for both desktop and mobile devices. We made absolutely certain that each site followed carefully crafted on-page and off-page SEO messaging, and was supported by mobile-responsive infrastructure. We used Google AdWords to drive customers to the client’s website and Google Analytics to measure the success of communications (activity) and conversions (sales). AdWords and Analytics provided the data we needed to develop an exclusionary, interest and category optimization strategy.
After four months of running a Google AdWords campaign that featured text, display and retargeting, the client crossed its monthly break-even point. AdWords helped to drive customers to the website, and the website helped drive increased sales. After eighteen months, the franchise was securing more business through its digital marketing channels than it was through its traditional print, billboard and radio strategy. As mentioned previously, Google Analytics revealed that digital marketing accounted for 65% of revenue – but accounted for only 25% of the ad budget. Meanwhile, traditional marketing accounted for 35% of revenue, but 75% of the advertising budget.
Even after our initial comprehensive assessment, our client was not certain that digital marketing would work. Once his entire team saw the proven benefits of the optimized site and the AdWords campaigns, they were sold on the strategy. The client recognized the need for carefully balancing traditional and digital marketing strategies and seeing which yielded the most ‘bang’ for his buck. He has since adjusted his ad budget. It is currently 75% digital marketing and 25% traditional marketing. Needless to say… sales continue to grow.
This particular client was an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in the U.S. It was a large Automotive Parts Manufacturer with a successful 100-year history that sold directly to over 100 vehicle manufacturers around the globe via an extensive network of account managers. Traditionally, their customers request prototypes that they develop. They then deliver literally hundreds of thousands to millions of finished units. Products are subsequently sold through worldwide chains of auto parts stores.
Though they were experiencing continuous success, they understood that the Internet could enable companies that have historically sold through partners and retailers (B2B) to sell directly to consumers. By eliminating the middle-man (i.e. vendors and re-sellers), margins would increase substantially. However, this online, direct-to-consumer marketing strategy would create an entire new set of sales, marketing and communication challenges.
We categorize and separate this manufacturer’s products into very specific customer segments. In this way, marketing efforts could zero-in on matching particular products to the desired of a specific customer. The result will be reduced acquisition costs, higher conversion rates, and of course better margins.
We launched individual, brand-identified websites that included selected products and calls to action that matched the consumer’s purchasing wishes (i.e. brand sites). Each site incorporated carefully defined on-page and off-page SEO messaging with cutting-edge infrastructure that scaled well on mobile devices and tablets – the places where we identified that the majority of their clients’ searches would be done. We used Google AdWords to drive traffic and Google Analytics to measure the success of the communications (activity) and conversions (sales).
Next, we launched three websites for the client’s three most popular products. Each site contained detailed parts selection tools, testimonials and ‘how to install’ communications to help the customer understand what to buy and how to install it. These easy-to-understand, information-intense communications were then posted to the client’s existing social media. This strategy increased direct consumer engagement and ultimately drove purchases. In just over a year, the three sites quickly boosted ranking in the search results for each product category. In fact, they performed better than the client’s own existing website when it came to product searches.
Although store locators were initially used, Google Analytics indicated that consumers wanted to buy immediately. As our client could not deliver one-on-one, we decided to drive all website traffic to Amazon. The resulting traffic was strong and continuous. Ultimately, this allowed our client to take over all Amazon Store fulfillments, resulting in huge increases in retail (Business-to-Consumer or B2C) sales.
Profit margins on products sold directly to the consumer were often 600% to 1,200% higher than those sold via wholesalers or other Original Equipment Manufacturers. By establishing a direct sales link to the end consumer and responding quickly, our client also learned the importance of fast service and the value of keeping consumers happy. This new knowledge is now part and parcel of any future advertising and marketing initiatives. Furthermore, our client now has a much clearer understanding of their ROI (Return On Investment). This includes setting of price-per-click budgets as well as what kind of realistic results can be expected.